Choosing to terminate an employee is never an easy task. However, there are times when you are left with no choice but to do just that. It can be stressful especially if you do not follow the correct protocol for terminating an employee.
If you are in need of a quick guide on how you can write a termination letter, you can refer to this article. We will give you the basics about employee termination, advice on how to write termination letters, as well as sample letters that you can refer to. Keep reading to find out more about employee termination and what are the proper steps you need to follow when you are on the verge of terminating an employee.
Sample Termination Letter for Cause or Performance
Sample Employee Contract Termination Letter
Sample Termination Letter
Sample Confidential Termination Letter
Termination Notice End of Contract
What Are the Common Reasons Why Employees Are Terminated?
A ton of times, an employer will not fire an employee without any cause. Most of the time, employees are terminated for reasons such as breach of contract—both minor and major—performance, as well as behavior. In this part of the article, we will let you in on some of the common reasons why an employee is fired from the workplace. This way, you will also have an idea on whether or not your reason for terminating your employee is valid or otherwise.
Violation of Company Policies
Every company has a set of policies that are usually stipulated in an employment agreement. If your employee has violated any of the policies stated in the agreement or the contract they have signed, then it could be a valid reason for terminating him/her. If you are unsure, you may review the employment agreement or you may consult your company’s HR manager.
Undocumented or Invalid Time Off
It is quite common for companies to give their employees the benefit of being able to go on vacation leaves and sick leaves, given that they file all the necessary paperwork needed for this time off to be valid. However, if an employee is a frequent absentee or goes beyond his/her filed leaves, then it is time to call his/her attention about this. One absent employee is equal to lesser overall productivity in the company, which means that you are also losing money from the absence made. Ask your HR manager for an NTE (Notice to Explain) form where you will ask the employee to give you a detailed explanation about his/her invalid time off. Once explanation has been submitted, conduct a meeting with the rest of the administrative officers of your company and deliberate whether the employee should be given a chance or should the company let him/her go.
Using the Company Equipment for Personal Use
A ton of companies are already very flexible with their employees using the company copier or printer for personal use. However, should they be doing this on a frequent basis, then it may be considered as abusive. First thing you should probably do is to ask the employee as to why this behavior is done on a frequent basis. You should then consult your HR manager what the sanctions for such behavior are.
Stealing Company Property
Stealing company property is a big no-no, and it is usually stated in the employment agreement that such behavior is a fireable offense. Stealing offense typically covers all minor and major property in the company—from stealing simple pens to stealing company money.
If your employee is not able to deliver what is expected from him/her, then this could be subject to termination given that all the protocols for firing an employee due to poor performance is followed. Once an employee is deemed terminable for this reason, writing a termination letter due to poor performance should be done.
There are a lot of employee behaviors that fall into this category. Such behavior would range from sexual harassment to criminal behavior. Lying, stealing, fraud, and falsification of documents also fall into this category. These are offenses that are highly unacceptable in the workplace and are definitely considered to be terminable.
Insubordination means to defy someone of authority or refusal to obey orders from someone of authority. However, you should also remember that your employee has the right to say no to some of your requests. Such refusal of requests should be done in a polite and respectful manner.
Falsifying of Company Documents and Records
Alterations done to the company documents and records are considered illegal. Falsification of records is usually done with the motive of deceiving someone else. Passing around copies of the altered documents or records also falls into this category. This is a very serious offense that often results in immediate termination. A lot of states actually consider falsification of documents as a felony.
Possession of Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol and drugs can often alter the behavior of a person. With this being said, in the workplace setting, it can definitely affect the job performance of a person. Another thing to remember would be that in some states, drug possession is actually illegal.
Damage to the Company Property
A broken mouse? Caused a virus spread to your computer? Broke the company printer? Jammed paper into the fax machine? Although these may not be as serious as it sounds, it is still considered as an offense, especially if multiple incidents from the same person occur. Whether or not this has been done with intent or not, this is subject to a specific consequence.
Terminable offenses vary from company to company and there are other offenses not listed here. However, you should keep in mind that there are certain disciplinary actions needed to be followed before an employee is considered to be terminated. Should you feel the need to review the company handbook and consult the HR manager about the proper disciplinary action to be taken, do not hesitate to do so.
Steps to Properly Terminating an Employee
Step #1: Do a proper investigation.
Make sure to gather the correct data such as
- the date of the incident,
- description of the behavior, and
- people involved with the incident.
Having all the necessary details will help to make the investigation easier. Getting written statements from the witnesses will be a good idea.
Step #2: Refer to documentations.
Documentation will include employee evaluation forms and other documentation for performance improvement if you are having issues with an employee who has poor performance. The employee handbook is also a good documentation that you can review should there be incidents such as misconduct and what the proper actions for such offenses are.
Step #3: File an incident report.
Write a letter to be given to the employee. Write down all of the details about the incident and include some enclosures if possible. Be specific and include the date of the meeting for the employee.
Step #4: Meet the problem employee.
Meet the employee on the date you have stated in your letter. Make sure you discuss with the employee the purpose of the meeting, the allegations against the employee, and the consequences of the offense. Give the employee a chance to defend themselves and discuss their side. Let them know how long it will take for you to give a feedback and conduct a further investigation about the situation.
Step #5: Decide and inform the employee of your decision.
Let the employee know of your decision through a business letter. Your decision would either be another warning or the termination of the employee. Make sure to give the details about how you have come up with the decision. Make sure to keep everything as professional as possible.
Step #6: What to do if the employee is terminated?
Conduct the proper employee exit protocol such as employee clearance. Ask the employee to return any company equipment handed to him/her that is not part of the perks of the employment.
Sample Letter of Dismissal
Letter of Termination for Poor Performance with Notice
Notice of Dismissal for Excessive Absences
Letter of Termination of Employment in DOC
Sample Employee Termination Letter
As a responsible employer, make sure you follow all the neccessary steps needed to be taken to make sure that you are firing an employee in a legal and correct manner. It is also very easy to download the example termination letters we have on this article as they are in PDF and Word Document file format, which is highly compatible with a lot of devices available in the market. Remember that no matter how hard letting go of an employee may be, sometimes it is the only choice you have, especially if you have done your part as an employer.
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